NFF Crisis: We Won’t Respect Your Order, Refrees Tell Giwa
The Nigeria Referees Association has said the Nigeria Football Federation has no board on ground to order its members to honour league matches against their wish.
The NRA President, Ahmed Maude, told NAN in Abuja that the NFA has no existing board that would tell NRA members to honour league matches.
Maude was reacting to NFF’s statement where Chris Giwa, the Chairman elected by a factional congress, was quoted as saying that the Nigeria Professional Football League matches were not suspended.
The statement had quoted the NFF as saying it was not going to take lightly NRA’s threat to withdraw its referees from officiating in the NPFL this weekend.
However, Maude said the withdrawal was even beyond the NPFL and that it also affects the other Nigerian leagues.
He said: “We ordered our members not to honour the matches in all the leagues until the NFF crisis is resolved.
“The withdrawal also affects the Nigeria National League, the Nigeria Women Premier League and the Nigeria Women Professional Football League.
“And, about the statement from NFF, I am a congress member and we were held hostage at Maitama in Abuja for about five to six hours Teusday.
“And while the 27 of us were there in Maitama, there could not have been any election somewhere else because there was no quorum.
“And the required quorum is 50 per cent plus one member.
“So, only seven people would have been at Chida Hotel, if they were even there to participate in the election.
“So, as far as I am concerned, there was no election.
“They are just deceiving themselves that they have been elected and they cannot order our members to honour matches.”
Maude said the NFF could not punish NRA members for not honouring matches in spite of its threat of not taking the withdrawal issue lightly.
“Any referee that honours any match will cease to be our member and nobody, even the NFF, can punish our members, except the NRA itself, according to article 15.2 of the NFA Statutes,” Maude said.
The NRA president however explained that its withdrawal was particularly due to the uncertainty of security at match venues.
He said: “We had to withdraw because the crisis affects the State Football Association chairmen and they are the ones giving us security and other logistics at match venues.
“So, without them, we are not sure of our security.
“This is why NRA is pulling out until all their problems are resolved.”
There are presently two factions of the NFF, with one having claimed to have held an election, which produced Giwa as board chairman.
The other faction on the other hand has fixed September 4 for elections and has just inaugurated the electoral committee to oversee the election process.
This faction appears to have the backing of world football governing body, FIFA, which on Friday evening recognised its proposed election for September 4.
FIFA has given Giwa up till Monday midnight to vacate office and the embattled Chairman, Aminu Maigari, restored to his position.
FIFA said failure to do this could result in sanction, which could involve an outright ban of Nigeria from its competitions and activities
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